Classic Car Catalogue
Aston Martin 1932
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International Mk 2
Martin International has a 1496-cc (69 x 99 mm) OHC four-cylinder
engine, developing 56 bhp at 4500 rpm and rated at 11.9 HP.
Transmission comprises four-speed gearbox and worm-drive rear
Models for 1932
Adhering to their usual policy, Aston Martin Ltd., have made no drastic changes in their range of cars for the coming season. Thus they will continue with their 1½-litre chassis, fitted with five different types of bodies. These will be : The International Sports" four-seater, the "Le Mans" two-seater, the "International Sports" coupe, a four-seater tourer and a four-seater saloon.
The Aston-Martin engine is a four-cylinder with bore and stroke dimensions of 69 mm. and 99 mm. (Treasury rating 11.9 h.p.). It has overhead valves, magneto ignition and two carburettors, and other details are combined thermo syphon and pump water circulation, dry sump lubrication, with two gear type pumps, 4 forward speeds, single disc dry plate clutch, worm final drive, internal expanding brakes on all four wheels, five detachable wire wheels, Dunlop 30 x 4.50 in tyres, wheelbase 8ft. 6ins., track 4ft, 4ins. ground clearance, 7ins.
The "International Sports" four-seater is priced at £595, the "Le Mans" two-seater at £650, and the "Internanational Sports" coupe at £715. The price of the touring car is £630, and the saloon £745.
Manufacturers' address : Aston Marlin Ltd., Feltham, Middlesex.
DURING the last year or so Aston Martin cars have been developing from one general purpose sports model into two categories, the sports tourer and the semi-racing two seater. The 1932 programme therefore comprises two models, the International four seater, and the Le Mans two-seater. Both models use the same engine and chassis but the two-seater has a higher compression ratio and a close-ratio gear-box, and except for a slightly wider body is identical with the cars which were so successful this year at Le Mans. Having these two models at their disposal, the makers have concentrated on making one car definitely a tourer with sporting characteristics, while the Le Mans model is able to have a racing performance without worrying too much about slow running or the other refinements which one expects in a car intended for every-day use in town and country.
THE Aston Martin has always been built as a hand made sports car, nothing being sacrificed to considerations of price or production. Consequently it was expensive, and it is very welcome news to know that without losing any of the good qualities of the earlier model, the latest cars are announced at a substantially reduced price.
The chassis of the new model has undergone slight modifications. Looked at from above, from the front dumb-irons the chassis members sweep in below the radiator, widen out until they reach a point behind the gearbox and converge again towards the rear. The frame should be very rigid as it is braced at six points, tubular cross members connecting the side frames at the extreme front and rear of the chassis and also at the point where the headlamp supports and front shock absorbers are fixed, and in front of the rear-mounted petrol tank. Two steel pressings brace the centre part of the chassis.
From the side it follows the lines of the earlier model, being swept over the front axle and passing under the rear axle. The side members are 6 inches deep in the centre of the chassis.
The general design of the engine is unaltered, four cylinders 69 by 99 giving a capacity of 1,493 c.c. The nitralloy cylinder block and the crankcase are cast in one and the detachable head fitted with two overhead valves per cylinder carries an overhead camshaft in three bearings. The camshaft is driven by chain from the front of the engine and is tensioned by a spring blade, and a forked bracket keeps the sprocket in mesh when the head is removed for decarbonising. Valve clearance is adjusted by rotating the eccentrically mounted rocker pins. The sparking plugs are mounted on the inlet side of the head and a narrowing of the gas space on this side materially improves combustion. The pistons are of aluminium alloy and the duralumin connecting rods are bushed with white metal.
The Aston Martin lubricating system has always been of advanced design, as befits an engine which is built to run for long periods on full throttle. The oil is carried in a 2½ gallon tank between the front dumb irons and is pumped from there to a pressure filter which runs the whole length of the off-side of the engine. It passes from there through passages to the three main bearings and thence through the crankshaft to the big end journals. Other passages feed th: camshaft bearings, surplus oil returning to the sump down the timing chain tunnel at the front end.
An aluminium sump is fitted and is ribbed to assist cooling. A scavenger pump returns the oil at the opposite side to the intake in the dumb-iron tank, and this being fully exposed to the air completes the cooling process. An additional pipe from the tank to the sump releases the surplus pressure built up by the scavenger pump.
The filter can be detached by removing its aluminium cover, the two pumps are mounted externally at the front of the engine and the adjustable pressure release valve is accessibly mounted at the front end of the filter.
Two S.U. carburettors fitted with top feed float chambers are mounted on the off side, petrol being supplied by a Petrolift mounted on the dash. The exhaust manifold is on the near side of the engine, the exhaust pipe being carried down well clear of the dash. The magneto and the water pump are now carried on a spigot mounting at the front end of the engine, while the dynamo is coupled direct to the crankshaft.
An entirely new gear-box is fitted, second and third gear being silent and engaged by dog clutches. The ratios are :–4.66, 6.43, 10.48 and 16.31 to 1. The gearbox is spigot mounted on the engine, the flywheel housing and case being of aluminium. The drive is transmitted through a single plate dry disc clutch. The remote control gear-lever has been retained. An oil filter plug above the floorboards lessens the work of the owner-driver, and the speedometer drive is taken from the rear of the box.
The engine and gear-box unit is mounted on four bearers of circular section, two being bolted on to the crankcase near the front end, the other pair being similarly secured to the flywheel housing.
On the new models torque tube construction has given place to open propellor shaft drive, the shaft having at each end an exceptionally neat universal joint. Another alteration is the substitution of a bevel back axle for the worm drive previously used. The back axle is of normal banjo construction, which permits the interior to be examined without the whole assembly having to be taken down.
The 12 volt battery is divided into two units, one each side of the propellor shaft. Behind the back axle is a 10 gallon petrol tank, and with a petrol consumption of about 30 m.p.g. the car will have a fine cruising range. The spare wheel is fitted in a vertical position at the back of the body, its weight being taken by two troughs mounted on the rear dumb iron stay.
The front axle remains unaltered, the I section between the front springs giving place to a hollow circular section in the upswept parts which are subject to brake and steering reactions. The springs now take the braking reaction, the torque resisting cables not being required. Two rebound leaves are fitted, and additional slips stiffen the assembly. The second leaf is wrapped round the top one to guard against the consequences of a broken leaf.
The excellent 14 inch brakes have been retained, and the use of harder liners permits brake lining having a higher coefficient of ignition to be used. Operation is now by enclosed cables. These and the cross shafts are lubricated from grouped nipples in the centre of the chassis. The hand brake lever is on the off side, but being of the pull-up type, does not prevent easy access to the seats.
Lucas electrical equipment is fitted, and the double filament headlamps are controlled by a finger-tip control. A spring-spoked steering wheel is fitted, and the column is adjustable for rake.
The appearance of the new car is little altered, but a higher radiator is fitted, giving it a bolder front. The extra width of the chassis and the open propellor shaft allows the same amount of room as in the previous model, and the ground clearance remains unaltered.
The price of the open four-seater car has been reduced from £598 to £475, a move which will be welcomed by everyone. Apart from the simplification affected by such items as the new frame, which is easier to machine and unit engine gear-box construction, this reduction is accounted for by reduced costs on a larger output of cars, and the number of orders already received for the new model is most encouraging.
Motor SportAugust 1932
WE TRY THE ASTON MARTIN INTERNATIONAL FOUR-SEATER
DURING the last year or so Aston Martin cars have been developing from one general purpose sports model into two categories, the sports tourer and the semi-racing two seater.
The very pleasing and low built appearance of the International four-seater Aston-Martin.
The 1932 programme therefore comprises two models, the International four seater, and the Le Mans two-seater. Both models use the engine and chassis described in our columns last month, but the two-seater has a higher compression ratio and a close-ratio gear-box, and except for a slightly wider body is identical with the cars which were so successful this year at Le Mans.
Having these two models at their disposal, the makers have concentrated on making one car definitely a tourer with sporting characteristics, while the Le Mans model is able to have a racing performance without worrying too much about slow running or the other refinements which one expects in a car intended for every-day use in town and country.
The car we tested was the first International four-seater produced, and has been used amongst other things as the team tender at Le Mans, where it arrived carrying more luggage, tools, and spares than one would have believed possible for a car of its dimensions. It is safe to say that this car has had a life considerably more strenuous than the average private owner would give it, and has received no attention beyond filling with petrol and oil. Its condition was therefore all the more interesting.
4-cyl., 69 x 99 mm. bore and stroke,
capacity 1,493 c.c.
Treasury Rating 11.9 h.p.
2 overhead valves per cylinder.
2 S.U. carburettors.
3 bearing crankshaft.
Dry sump lubrication.
4 speeds and reverse centre change.
Ratios with 4.66 back axle, 4.66, 6.43, 10.48, 16.31.
Rear axle : Spiral bevel.
Brakes : Cable operated 14in. diam.
Suspension : Half elliptics.
Overall length 12ft.
Width 5ft. 3ins.
Weight 19 cwt.
The first thing required of a touring car is that it should be comfortable. On taking over the Aston Martin, one is at once struck with the erect driving position, which allows a clear view of the road and one's front wings, and the way in which the steering wheel comes in
just flip right place. The gear-lever can be manipulated without stretching, and the pneumatic upholstery supports back and thigh in the places where fatigue is usually felt. The back seats are comfortable and have ample leg-room.
Offside view of the engine, showing the two S.U. Carburetters.
The suspension is one of the best points about the car, the standard road setting being equally suited to travel at high speeds on the track, and to crawling along the corrugated surface of a crowded suburban street. Even when the shock-absorbers were tightened up to their full extent, the car was not unduly bumpy at low speeds, and the suspension is altogether one of the best we have come across on a sports car. At this point one should mention the accessibility of the Hartford shock-absorbers, a point which is neglected on quite a number of modern cars.
So much for the touring side of the car's capabilities ; now to deal with its performance.
The engine, as one would expect on an Aston-Martin, is vibrationless throughout its speed range, and pulls evenly down to 7 m.p.h. on top gear. There is very little mechanical noise, and the exhaust is well silenced. The gear-box is fitted with silent second and third gears, a unique feature on a sports car, and are of course engaged by sliding dogs. They are not, as a matter of fact, remarkably silent, but the fact that they are engaged by dogs facilitates gear changing. The remote control gear-lever is a great improvement on the old pattern, which seemed to be too far back, while the clutch drag which we had experienced on some of the older models which have done a fair mileage has been overcome.
The gear ratios are quite widely spaced, and two or three seconds is lost on each change if one waits the correct time. Things can be speeded up considerably by depressing the clutch pedal very fully, as though to engage a clutch stop, in which case the dogs engage quite quickly with nothing worse than a slight grunt. Second allows a speed of 36 m.p.h., and nearly 60 can be reached in third without going over 4500 r.p.m.
A view of the cockpit. Note the remote gear control.
Aston Martin brakes have always been remarkably good and have lost none of their efficiency through being cable operated. From 40 miles an hour the car was brought to rest in 51 feet, without any tendency to deviate from the straight. No compensating gear is used, each brake
being independently adjusted by a simple wingnut arrangement. The hand-racing-type-lever operates all
four brakes, the rachet being engaged by lifting a projecting rim at the top of the lever.
The steering is very light
and without backlash, but is lower geared and has less caster than one usually finds on sports cars. The considerable movement required is balanced by the accuracy with which the car can be placed, and we amused ourselves by going into corners at what seemed quite excessive speeds and sweeping round at undiminished speed with the inside wheel just six inches from the kerb.
The most striking characteristic of the International is its toughness. After
testing it at Brooklands, we set off to the West along devious routes with the firm intention of seeing if it was possible to blow it up. 4,000 to 4,500 in all gears, cornering as fast as the road allowed, up and down the box, nothing affected it, the comparatively touring Type 13 Champions showing no sign of overheating. 60-65 on all main roads and 70 when this was possible have a way of showing up weaknesses, but the car seemed willing to stand this indefinitely. The stamina of the engine is largely due to the adequate cooling and to the dry sump lubrication system, which holds 2½ gallons of oil. The car's fastest speed on the level was a genuine 70 miles an hour.
As has been said, the car which we tried was the first of this year's Internationals, and had covered a mileage of over 13.000 without being decarbonised, 13,000 miles represents more than a year's running for
the ordinary owner, so this report gives some idea of what may be expected after that time. The engine had only dropped about 2 m.p.h. from the intended maximum of 72 m.p.h., so that when decarbonised, one is safe in calling the International a genuine 70 m.p.h. car. The gear-box and transmission showed no sign of wear, and the brakes were entirely satisfactory. The coachwork did not rattle or squeak, and the cellulose was in first class condition.
The results of this test proclaim the International Aston Martin as a fast touring car with race-bred nicety of control, which may be relied to keep its tune and condition over long periods with the minimum of upkeep. It accomplishes adequately the makers' claims of sturdiness and fast travel.
This beatiful coupe body has been made by E. Bertelli Ltd., to the order of Mr. W. Headlam, the well-known Whitby shipper. It is finished in black, with chromium beading, and is mounted on an Aston-Martin chassis.
5th at 24h Le Mans
Chassis Nr. LM10 / Reg. MV2793 (Sammy Newsome / Henken Widengren).